Evaluation 2020

2116: How does what we don't know affect what we do? Embracing and navigating our ignorance. 

10-23-2020 13:53

Evaluators in today's society are in a constant state of ignorance -- and that’s okay! It’s our job to uncover new and pressing knowledge and share it with important agents in the community. We enter contexts, often without any understanding of the intricacies and complexities involved, and have great authority in where we shine our light and what counts as knowledge within those contexts. Preskill (2008), in a piece on the evaluation's role as facilitator and change agent, notes, “although ambiguity and the unknown can be unsettling and at times downright scary, the alternative is certainty, which often results in stagnation, negativity, and arrogance” (pp. 137-138). In this postern, we utilize literature on ignorance, including Haas and Vogt’s (2015) Ignorance Typology, to invite attendees to embrace how what we don’t know operates in our practice and in our lifelong learning in the areas of competency outlined by AEA (2018).

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